Episode 32 – Giving away a £1m company and running a global campaign to recognise ‘Jedi Knight’ as a religion with Simon Cohen

Social visionary, multi-award winning entrepreneur and thought leader Simon Cohen strives to make the world a happier and more fulfilled place. He is widely recognised as the unique individual who gave away his £1m PR agency, Global Tolerance. to follow his heart and focus on what he valued the most – his family.

Today, on The Best Version Of You, Simon shares his views on the power of the media, and how he leveraged it on a mass scale, citing the campaign to see ‘Jedi’ listed as a religion, something that got global coverage around the world. The 2001 census, which saw 390,000 people catagorise their religion as ‘Jedi ‘, sparked an idea for a ​​campaign to create debate around tolerance.

​Global Tolerance, his then agency, arranged for two ‘Jedi Knights’, Umada and Yunyun, to deliver a letter to the United Nations Association on 16 November (the UN’s International Day of Tolerance), requesting the day be marked as the Interstellar Day of Tolerance. All it cost the agency was the price of the costumes, £70. This campaign famously reached nearly 700,000,000 people.

Simon, also an inspirational speaker shares his words of wisdom and inspiration with the entrepreneurs of the future: “Every single one of us can design and define what success looks like in our own terms. The only limit is your imagination.”

As well as business, he applies his strategies in the wisdom field, representing world leaders and thinkers including the Dalai Lama and Gandhi’s grandson, and has a regular non-religious Pause For Thought segment on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 show. A regular commentator in the international media, he has written for Newsweek, Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Times, and The Guardian.

To reach out to Simon you can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @mrsimoncohen – especially if you identify as a Jedi Knight!

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